1770 Park Street, Suite 205, Naperville IL 60563

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube
Search

Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Us630-364-4046

Naperville | Wheaton | St. Charles

What is the Difference Between a Legal Separation and Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law

Naperville Legal Separation AttorneyComing to the decision to get a divorce does not happen suddenly. It often takes couples months or even years to reach the point where they no longer want to be married. In the time between the start of marital trouble and the signing of divorce papers, couples often live apart from one another and lead separate lives. During this time, a couple may file for a legal separation, allowing them to address certain issues while they live separately. Following a legal separation, a couple will remain married in the eyes of the law. However, at any point, either spouse may decide to move forward with their divorce.

What Is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is the “official” way of saying that you and your spouse are taking a break from one another. To get a legal separation in Illinois, there are a few requirements that you must meet. One of the most basic terms requires either you or your spouse to be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days. Then, you will need to file a petition for legal separation in the court of the county that you or your spouse lives in. The petition will contain specific personal information, but most importantly, it will contain proof that you and your spouse currently live separately from one another and are not financially dependent on each other. During the process of legal separation, you will create a separation agreement that addresses how you will handle issues such as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and the division of marital property while you are living separately.

Can I Benefit From a Legal Separation?

Many people think that getting a legal separation will end their marriage. While it is true that a legal separation and a divorce have many similarities, they are not the same. A legal separation is a good stepping stone for couples who are contemplating the possibility of a divorce. A separation is not permanent, so it can sometimes allow a couple to reconcile and get back together. It may also allow spouses to maintain some of the benefits of being married, such as insurance coverage, while living separately, and it may be an option for ending a relationship while avoiding divorce for religious, cultural, or family reasons.

Discuss Your Options With a Wheaton, IL Legal Separation Attorney

Even if you and your spouse are living apart from one another and are financially independent, you are still considered married in the eyes of the law. For a separation or divorce to be legal, you must go through the formalities of the legal process. This can often be time-consuming and confusing, which is why you will want to work with a knowledgeable DuPage County legal separation lawyer. At the Goostree Law Group, we have been assisting clients with legal separations and divorces for more than 15 years. If you are unsure of whether or not a legal separation is right for you, call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/legal-separation.asp

Back to Top